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Snowden Warns of 'Lethal Threat' Posed by Investment in Spyware

CC0 / Travis Ellis / Person holding smartphone
Person holding smartphone - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden warned on Tuesday of a "lethal threat" posed by Big Tech companies, estimating that the number of spyware victims would be a thousand times higher if investment in the intrusive technology continued.
Earlier this month, the media reported that Pegasus spyware, developed by Israel's NSO Group and used by government agencies to track criminals and terrorists, was deployed by state services to hack some 50,000 private phones of activists, journalists, and opposition figures around the world. Among those targeted were high-level officials from Pakistan, France, Iraq, Egypt and the European Council.
​In an article published earlier this day, the NSA leaker said that the Pegasus Project — a joint investigation by over 80 journalists from 10 countries led by non-profit group Forbidden Stories with the technical support of Amnesty International — was a "turning-point" in what he called the "Insecurity Industry."
The global community, he went on, is now facing "the greatest crisis of computer security in computer history."
"The first step in this direction — at least the first digital step — must be to ban the commercial trade in intrusion software," Snowden noted.
The Pegasus Project exposé has caused an outcry not only among rights organizations but also among governments and even the United Nations, as the list of potential targets included high-ranking state officials and royal figures. This ran counter to the claim of NSO Group that it sold Pegasus only to governments to be used against terrorists and criminals.
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